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Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh It's Chocolate!

Chocolate! I did it! 

Aww here, I adapted a gluten free recipe and created my own lower carb, no refined sugar or flour chocolate cupcake AND piping icing!  They were so choclatey and not too sweet, a wonderful treat for chocolate lovers  who are trying to eat healthier.

No refined flour or sugar chocolate cupcakes: 
I use organic products whenever available
(recipe adapted from Elana's Pantry)
1/4 c coconut flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t baking soda
4 large eggs
1/4 C + 1 tsp grapeseed oil
1/2 C  agave nectar
1 t pure vanilla extract
(you can throw in a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips or nuts if you like)

 beat eggs and syrup in mixing bowl, combine dry and add slowly to mixture.  Bake 350 for about 15 min depending on size of muffin wrappers, I chose small for 12 min.   For larger, try 15-18 min.

The coconut flour is not refined, is high in fiber and protein and has a low glycemic index.  It has a wonderful consistency in baking and creates a moist smooth cupcake.  The organic unsweetened cocoa powder is packed full of antioxidants and also is low in fat and carbs.  You can throw in some nuts for some added heart healthy oils and protein!  

Today I used the organic brown rice syrup, but agave would  also work well in this recipe
and has a lower glycemic index than the rice syrup. The agave actually works better in my kid taste test.  I baked a pumpkin pie yesterday with it,
 so I chose to mix it up today with the rice syrup.  

No refined sugar Chocolate Piping Frosting
(I adapted from Organic Valley Dry Milk recipe)

1/2 C Organic non fat Dry Milk (sifted)
1/2 C organic unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
1 stick organic butter or equivalent Coconut oil (coconut oil tasted better to me!)
1/4 C agave nectar
1 t vanilla extract
1 t water

Cream room temperature butter in mixing bowl, add  agave syrup,  combine until smooth and creamy. Sift dry milk and cocoa together, slowly add half to mix  as you continue to beat.  Add extract and water.  Add last half of dry mix and beat until smooth.  

(I have also made this recipe with dry soy milk as a substitute, honey or pure maple syrup instead of the brown rice syrup and also have used coconut oil instead of butter. The honey and maple syrup go well with a spice cupcake like pumpkin or apple.   If you use coconut oil, you will need to chill frosting in fridge for 15 min before piping to stiffen frosting.)

See new VEGAN "buttercream" frosting recipe HERE

Here I demonstrated spreading the frosting for a different look.  If you want to add an amazing punch of flavor to your cupcake,  these flavored sugar sprinkles are packed with amazing flavor and really only add a negligible amount of refined sugar for the amazing flavor it packs.  This series I found at a cooking specialty store had mocha, praline, cappuccino and butter rum along with the raspberry shown.  One little shake of this on top of the frosting gives the illusion of a real "sweet frosting"! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Flavors in Quinoa


Yes this ancient grain boasts being a complete protein, full of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron and it's gluten free.  It is low fat, tasty and so easy to make!  I get this organic version at Costco.  

Here I made 1 cup of dry quinoa with 1 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth and 1 T of grapeseed oil (olive oil would work too), I threw in a cinnamon stick and a little ginger.  After the liquid was absorbed, I removed the cinnamon stick and added a handful of slivered almonds and fruit sweetened organic dried cranberries.    It made a delicious breakfast with the flavors of fall! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It all starts here.....

Eat Your Veggies!  The Easy Way.

In my quest to nurture a healthy body, I have been eating more organic vegetables and nutrient rich foods to heal, restore and feed my body.  I have realized this organic 
Vegetable Broth by Pacific Natural Foods has become a staple in my cooking.  Basically I use it to replace water in almost all of my savory cooking.  Once a week I make a pot of organic veggie soup by starting with a box of this broth,  adding a can of organic tomato paste and whatever veggies I have on hand!  I try to be sure to include GREENS like kale or spinach or a box of mixed organic greens.  This is also a wonderful way to include  the fiber and cancer fighting attributes of cabbage into your diet.  I like to add a dab of hot chili paste for a kick boost on metabolism and immunity.  Adding spices that help with metabolism like turmeric is a smart idea too.   Consider making a healthy soup pot full of good stuff for your body!  Be creative,   It's so easy.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lo Carb Bread

Gluten Free Low Carb Bread

This is another almond flour recipe I am so excited about, adapted from Elana Amsterdam's Gluten Free cookbook.  Really it adds up to about 3 carb per slice and is filled with protein!  I tried it this morning and it was moist and yummy, and I am excited about varying the recipe with olives and rosemary for a savory bread, or with nuts and fruit and spices for a quick bread style.  

3/4 c creamy almond butter room temp
4 lrg eggs
1/4 c blanched almond flour
1/4 c arrowroot flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1T ground flax seed
mix wet in mixing bowl, combine dry, add a bit at time until mix is smooth, bake 350 for 40 min in a small 3x7 in  sprayed loaf pan, let cool before removing

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween 2011

Easy Breezy  HEALTHY Halloween

This year my kids had a chance to go to Disney World right before Halloween, since they were scheduled to come home late the night before and had school the next day, I decided to keep Halloween celebrations traditional but without all the normal fanfare our family likes to put out.  I made some flavorful healthy orange walnut organic cupcakes with no refined sugars and tried a new frosting made with organic dry milk and agave nectar!  It was delicious.  As you will see below,  I made a big veggie tray to stuff them with some healthy food before the candy came!

Walnut Orange Cupcakes
1 C well chopped walnuts
1 C organic whole wheat flour
2 T ground flax
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
2 T grated orange zest
3/4 C juice from an orange
1/2 C grapeseed oil
1/2 C organic raw agave nectar
2 large organic eggs

Combine all wet ingredients in mixer bowl,  mix dry ingredients together and add to wet, mix until 
combined.  Bake in cupcake liners at 350 for 20 min for average size, 10-12 for mini liners.
Frosting was "Organic Valley" healthy frosting with a few drops natural food coloring and half orange and half the vanilla extract .  See HERE

Fun healthy party foods with color and style don't have to be all sugar!!!

I made these luminaries from glass vases, covered in tracing paper with dollar store cutouts glued on.
Below you can see how they looked once  lit up.

Death by candy!